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#590 Make-A-Wish Foundation Builds Purpose and Hope

Nigel Brown

Make-A-Wish Canada co-founder, Nigel Brown

by Nigel Brown

The Make-A-Wish Canada Foundation turns 30 this year. It grants the wishes of children who have life threatening diseases. In British Columbia it has completed more than 1500 wishes and more than 5200 in Canada.

Sadly, many of the children pass away but there are some who have “beaten” their disease…perhaps as a result of their wish coming true. Here’s one story:

Meaghan was 11 years old and was extremely ill. Her wish was to meet Snow White. The wish-granting team waited anxiously for that small window of opportunity—remission—to be able to grant Meaghan her wish.

The opportunity arrived, and Meaghan jetted down to Disneyland with her family in tow. But Lady Luck was not co-operating. Meaghan took a turn for the worse.

The wish-granting team contacted friends at Disneyland and asked if Snow White could come to the hotel and meet Meaghan. The Disney folks were unable to do that, but they provided extra assistance. They got Meaghan to the route and placed her in a special location.

Holding onto the hope her wish would actually come true, Meaghan never took her eyes off the street corner where she would catch her first glimpse of Snow White. The float appeared but stopped some distance away. Snow White got down from the float and walked through the crowds asking if anyone had seen Meaghan.

And then they met. The look on Meaghan’s face was incredible. They chatted and even laughed as Snow White gave Meaghan a special keepsake.

Her wish granted, Meaghan went back to the hotel. Her condition worsened. The family feared she might not live through the night.

When her mother went into her room the next morning to show Meaghan photographs of her and Snow White, Meaghan said; “If Snow White can find me amongst all those people Mom, I can beat this”. The mood in the room instantly changed from extreme fear to hope.

Meaghan, who was so close to death, is still alive today. She graduated from university a while ago. No one can be sure what triggered the change in her condition or outcome, but perhaps the wish helped her discover new energy, hope and purpose to carry on and fight.

Life is an experience rollercoaster; we could all do with more hope occasionally.

My interpretation of purpose: “It is the anchor (in life) that will get you through when everything else has failed.” Perhaps that was the case for Meaghan.

Make-a-Wish BC & Yukon can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr.

Nigel Brown is inherently an initiator and connector of people. With creativity and a strategic mindset his professional career is marked by successful ‘building’ of non-profit organizations, business projects and teams. He spent more than 30 years in the financial services sector where his vision and commitment served his clients well. Nigel was co-founder of Canada’s Make-A-Wish Foundation and most recently founded the Sing For Your Life Foundation BC that focuses on improving the health and wellness of older people through music. In 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Through his consultancy Life Planning Matters, Nigel facilitates corporate workshops and individual coaching focused on second-half of life planning. He is frequently requested as a speaker and sourced often by media for his insights on aging well.


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